Creating Rustic Art: Mod Podge Photo Transfer

Creating Rustic Art with Mod Podge Photo Transfer

I did a little crafting this weekend – in attempt to bring some Spring to my kitchen – a little something brighter – by creating some rustic art using Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium.

The process was pretty simple, so I thought I would share with you how I did it.

First, what do you need?

Mod Podge Transfer Medium (found at Micheal’s and it comes with the needed foam brush), your photo of choice (make sure if it has lettering on it, you print it in reverse.  It should be printed from an ink jet printer on regular paper, not photo paper), scissors (cut away and white space of your printed picture), parchment paper and your wood board (mine is actually the cover of an old hamper found at a yard sale.  Almost anything will do, even new wood that you painted and distressed – just make sure it has time to “cure”.)  Not pictured is regular Mod Podge in matte finish, a sanding block, sponge and dark wax (I used Miss Mustard Seed’s).

Mod Podge Photo Tranfer Needed Materials

STEP 1: Prepare and place the photo on the wood.

Cut off a piece of parchment paper and place your photo – face up – and cover it fully with a medium level of the Mod Podge Photo Transfer medium.  You shouldn’t really be able to see the photo through the medium.    The parchment paper is not necessary but makes clean up and placement a little easier.

Mod Podge Photo Tranfer Medium

Use the parchment paper to lift up the image and place it face down on the wood.  Clean up any extra medium around the picture.

Here is the important and hard part – LEAVE IT ALONE FOR A FULL 24 HOURS!

Creating Rustic Art

STEP 2: Remove the paper.

Using a sponge and water, wet the whole paper so that the picture shows through – leave it alone for 2 minutes.

Mod Podge Rustic Art

Keep wetting and rinsing your sponge and begin rubbing off the paper – the image stays behind.  Take your time, keep rinsing and keeping it wet.  You want to make sure you get all the paper off.

Mod Podge Removing Paper

Step 3: Distress the Image

Using a sanding block, rub all over the piece to dull the image.  Really work on the edges and the bumps and character areas.  The goal is for it to look “blended” into the wood.

Mod Podge Creating Rustic Art

Add a coat of dark wax over the top in a thin coat.  You can see in the image below where I have added it through the center.  It take away the dullness,  darkens it and pulls it together with the wood a little more.

Adding Wax to Mod Podge Photo Transfer

Step 4: Seal the overall piece.

Add a heavy coat of matte finish Mod Podge (original).  Follow the directions on the bottle for drying time.

Adding Mod Podge over Mod Podge Photo Transfer copy

      And you are done and ready to display and enjoy your new piece of rustic art.

Rustic Art with Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium

If you would like to watch a video of the whole process, here is a great one to watch.  The show you that you can use that Mod Podge Photo Transfer medium on many different surfaces, including fabric.  It is a simple and easy way to customize anything in your home, clothing, acessories or as a gift.

If you would like to see another photo transfer project, visit here:

Mod-Podge-Photo-Transfer-Canvas copy

If you would like more project inspiration, please visit:

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Mod Podge

Visit Paint Me Plaid

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Thanks so much for reading and have a great day!

postsignature.pngIf you would like to see other project using the Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium, click on the links below.

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25 thoughts on “Creating Rustic Art: Mod Podge Photo Transfer”


  1. Beautiful project. I would like to try this but what is the dark wax? I see this mentioned all the time as the final step in painting with chalk paint. I can’t find whatever it is!!!

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  5. Hello-

    I tried this technique over the weekend for a Father’s Day gift. I could not get the photo to transfer to the wood. Also, I was curious how long it took to wipe the paper away, only leaving the photo? I worked for a solid 45 minutes and I could not get it to look right. I used the photo transfer medium that Mod Podge makes as well as an ink jet printed photo. I’ve noticed on other tutorials that laser printed photos were used rather than ink jet. However, they used gel medium and not the Mod Podge photo transfer. I would like to try this technique again for a photo gallery wall in my home using different kinds of wood (wood slices, paint sticks, planks..etc.), but, I can’t figure out what I did wrong.


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  7. Hi, could u please tell me, what do you mean by “regular paper” not printer paper for transferring the photos onto canvas.
    What is your definition of regular paper used in a printer?? Thank you so much.